PTI, ASWJ into an unholy alliance?

ali.zaidi@dunyatv.tv'Posted by

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) constantly criticized the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) during the 2013 election campaign that the latter had links with the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). They used to show the pictured of Law Minister Punjab Rana Sanaullah with the leader of the ASWJ Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi. Moreover, when the Shia Hazara were killed in large numbers in two back-to-back attacks in Quetta, PTI jumped to the conclusion that the PML-N’s Punjab government was behind it as the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik had stated that the trucks that carried the ammunition had come from Lahore.

Shia Hazara killed in Quetta 2013
Shia Hazara killed in Quetta 2013

PTI was accused of doing this in order to prove itself a savior of the rights of the Shia and the other religious minorities and mainly to win the Shia votes as the community seemed weary of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) that it has mostly supported ever since the party came into being.

However, PTI is habitual of doing exactly what it criticizes its opponents for. They criticized other parties for nepotism in awarding of tickets, 5 members of Pervez Khattak’s family were then awarded the tickets. They criticized other parties for family politics and now Reham Khan is almost there. Even Chairman PTI Imran Khan has said that it is her right to be in politics as a Pakistani citizen, as if Maryam Nawaz or Bilawal are Italian citizens.

In the latest U-Turn, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) Pervez Khattak held a meeting with the ASWJ leaders. Aurangzeb Farooqi, one of the most despised figures by the PTI, can also be seen in the image while other leaders of the ASWJ and KP government officials are also present.

This is not the first time PTI has been seen flirting with the ASWJ. In the past, PTI government also allowed government schools in DI Khan to be used by the ASWJ for their ceremonies.


However, that could have been overlooked since it would have been a decision by the local leadership, or to be more lenient, by the local administration so holding the PTI responsible for it would be unfair. But this meeting with the ASWJ leaders is a clear indication that the PTI is still revolving around the policy of getting the Taliban an office.

Just a few days before the election, PTI leader Azam Khan Swati was pictured with the same Aurangzeb Farooqi and was alleged of having forged an alliance with the ASWJ at the local level.

Swati

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has also been alleged in the past of having a covert alliance with the ASWJ. In fact, at one point, it had to issue a clarification that the party was not in alliance with the ASWJ.

PML-N clarification on alliance with ASWJ
PML-N clarification on alliance with ASWJ

The point is not just having an alliance with the ASWJ

PML-N has had it, PPP has had it and no matter how much they both deny it, they have had links with the terror outfits in the past. Though both did it out of compulsion and both even went after the radical Sunni organization when there was an opportunity. Besides, ASWJ is a legitimate organization, as per the law of this state, and political alliances can be formed with them just like one can go into an alliance with the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen.

PPP seat adjustment with ASWJ in 2008 elections
PPP seat adjustment with ASWJ in 2008 elections

The issue is the ‘holier than thou’ attitude of the PTI. It is high time that they accept that they are just another political party working in this system and that the ‘Naya Pakistan’ slogan was just a ‘siasi bayaan’ like the Najam Sethi’s 35 puncture tape.

Update:

And now ASWJ has announced support for PTI in NA-19 Haripur election.

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